Government and defence

Also known as ‘the public sector’, the government and defence industry hires professionals to work in government-funded and operated facilities and services.

It’s common now for the government to contract private companies or not-for-profits to administer services to the public under funding by the government, also referred to as outsourcing. Outsourcing can occur in schools, hospitals, community centres, legal offices as well as centralised government offices.

The defence industry includes government establishments and commercial companies engaged in researching and developing military equipment and defence systems and controls. Many military or defence contractors work closely with governments to create products and services on their behalf. They may provide technical support, logistics, training as well as military weapons, aircrafts, vehicles and intelligence systems. Careers in the defence industry may lead from military service backgrounds and relevant engineering degrees.

There are many administrative and public policy positions within the government sector fulfilling various roles. Different levels of government are responsible for hiring and administering services and programs at the city/ local, state and federal levels. Professionals from virtually every other career field may also seek positions in government funded institutions.

Individuals interested in a career specifically in government are usually interested in political science, public administration and policy. They are typically focused on big picture issues, taking into consideration the policies and effects of policies on the economy, social factors and environment. Individuals wanting to promote and implement change in the society may be attracted to government positions. Careers in the government and defence industry are typically stable and offer respectable salary and benefits. Most work schedules Mondays to Fridays, except in institutions needing to serve the public all days of the week.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Professional associations and industry bodies

Aircraft Electronics Association

Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA)

Australian Defence Association 

Australian Industry & Defence Network

Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association 

Consult Australia 

Engineers Australia

Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers

Institute of Public Administration Australia

Society of Automotive Engineers

Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute

Skills and personality

  • Analytical and advanced skills developing defence machinery, weapons and equipment
  • Effective organisational, coordination and administration abilities
  • Enjoy supporting government policies and activities
  • Highly professional in appearance to portray a positive image to the public
  • Problem solving capabilities and understanding of government aims and objectives with programs
  • Proficiency in computer information systems and office equipment
  • Research skills to assist in research and monitoring activities requested by governing bodies
  • Strong communication skills to work well with customers, clients and general inquiries from the public
  • Strong observational and analytical skills evaluating the effect of policies and government practices
  • Thorough attention to detail and understanding requests for information or tasks